Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Empress

 A rather wonderful 1920s AP photo of Empress Kojun (1903-2000), wife of Hirohito.  The strange barricade with its strong graphic element and her unusual expression attracted me to the image.

Born Princess Nagako, Empress Kojun became the longest living Empress Consort  (and Empress Dowager) in Japanese history.  She died at 97, having been Empress for 74 years and outliving her husband by over a decade.  She had seven children, one of whom is the present Emperor, Akihito.

According to her Wikipedia entry, 'Nagako's formative years were insulated deep inside a former period of Japan. She would become one of the last Japanese who could remember what life was like inside the aristocracy early in the 20th century.'  Amazing that she lived until so recently.

One of the last photos of her--a haunting image, especially when juxtaposed against the one above.